Christian Aid revived by Johnson Banks

International development charity Christian Aid this week launches a radically overhauled visual identity, as it seeks to invigorate interest in the organisation.

The identity and design guidelines have been developed by Johnson Banks in a project worth £80 000 to the consultancy. The work was undertaken in collaboration with Christian Aid head of design Frances McConnell, who selected Johnson Banks after a three-way pitch against Pentagram and The Chase a year ago (DW 17 March 2005).

The logo retains the charity’s defining red colourway, but drops the hand-drawn figures, created by Aplin King Associates in 1997, in favour of a graphic, based on the collection envelopes used during Christian Aid Week each year. The identity is designed to be more adaptable to multiple communications platforms, particularly on-line applications, and stresses the word Aid over Christian.

‘The logo builds on the idea of action, campaigning and fundraising, and uses the heritage of the red envelopes. It shows we are modern, contemporary and pushing for change,’ says McConnell. ‘We realised there were low energy levels in our communications before, but Christian Aid is the opposite of that as an organisation.’

The charity is hoping to attract new supporters and ‘sharpen’ public understanding of the work it undertakes. ‘Part of the exercise is to be clear about our aid work. We have a strong Christian heritage, but we are not trying to convert people to Christianity,’ adds McConnell.

The existing tagline – ‘We believe in life before death’ – is retained under the new branding, but separated from the logo in order to be detachable.

According to Johnson Banks creative director Michael Johnson, the identity will allow Christian Aid to ‘reach out to a younger, more secular audience, without losing core supporters’.

Christian Aid’s website, www.christian-aid.org.uk, will also be redesigned , but a consultancy has yet to be appointed.

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